tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC March 15, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
is getting in the game, too. and i hope you do, as well. that wraps up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll be back here at 11:00 with my partner, ali velshi. right now, you're in luck because you're about to get more news with my friend and colleague, chris jansing. >> it makes me think of that picture of the little girl looking up at the portrait of michelle obama and the idea that that could be me one day. >> you've got to see it to be it. >> thank you so much. stephanie ruhle. and good morning. we're following new developments today in the russia investigation. former trump campaign manager, paul manafort, is making it clear, he is ready for a fight. his lawyer is asking a judge to throw out the indictment against him, claiming special counsel, robert mueller, exceeded his authority by charging him with crimes unrelated to russian meddling. that's happening as attorney general jeff sessions considers whether to fire former fbi director, andrew mccabe, just days before his planned retirement. a move that could put his
pension at risk. we've also got the latest on new documents linking the trump organization to efforts to silence stormy daniels, the former adult film star, who claims she had an affair with the president a decade ago. those documents show another top trump lawyer was involved in trying to enforce a gag order against daniels. you're welcome, president trump claims the congressional victory in pennsylvania was all due to democrat connor lamb acting like the president. running like a republican. we'll dive into that. nbc news investigations reporter tom winter starts us off with the latest on the russia investigation. tom, when you see this legal fight that manafort is doing, it says to me, he's hunkering down for a fight, unlike his long-time aide, rick gates and others who pleaded guilty, who are cooperating with mueller. tell us what we know. >> well, chris, i think you're absolutely right. i think one of the best ways to fight a legal case is to ask for
it to be tossed out before it even gets started. so this was a filing made late ma last night, a motion to dismiss charges in the district of columbia. he's charged in the eastern detective of virginia, as well as the district of columbia. so this filing has to do with the case in d.c. and basically, what he's saying is, he's saying, hey, in the united states, the basic tenets of our judicial system are that a special counsel, if they're appointed, they have to focus on one specific issue or one specific set of crimes. and in this case, the order that installed robert mueller says, yes, he can look at one specific issue, which is, of course, the russian interference of the 2016 election, and any other crimes that arise as a result of his investigation. and manafort's attorney, kevin downing, says, whoa, wait a minute. that's not what this is about here. and we can take a second to look at the actual filing from last night, which i believe that we have available. and basically in that filing, it
says that the issues and the crimes, and i'll read it now, the original and superseding indictments do not focus in the slightest on alleged coordination between the russian government and the trump campaign during the 2016 election or even mr. manafort's brief involvement in the campaign. so basically what his attorneys are saying, it's not proper for mueller to be able to look at things that don't involve the 2016 election and the charges that are brought against my client. those are charges that have nothing to do with the 2016 election or any sort of russian interference. so basically, that's what they're saying, is they're saying, look, this needs to be stopped. these charges need to be dismissed before we even go to trial. and this is something we see a lot in these types of cases where people try to bring in other sort of mitigating factors and say, you know, it's improper to even be talking about this at all, chris. >> tom, thank you so much for that. let me bring in msnbc justice and security analyst and former doj spokesman matt miller. my panel for the hour, kaitlan huey-burns, and new york post
columnist. you've got paul manafort digging in, ready to fight. we talked about rick gates cooperating, michael flynn, the folks saying to robert mueller, here is information that i have that can be useful to you. do you think at this point paul manafort has a case here? is he throwing a hail mary? >> this is such a silly filing by paul manafort. look, a couple things. one, i think it's pretty obvious that bob mueller is acting completely within his mandate. the mandate makes clear he can look at anything else that arises from the investigation. and his supervisor, rod rosenstein, has made it abundantly clear a number of times he's closely coordinating with him. any time he's gone into a new area he's gotten his supervisor's approval to do so. but let's say just imagine if manafort were successful in this filing. it doesn't mean that these same charges couldn't be brought against him. it just means mueller couldn't bring them. so there would be nothing to stop -- >> that's the argument, right? >> yeah, there's nothing to be said the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia couldn't bring the same charges.
it's -- one way to look at this is a legal hail mary that will never succeed. the other way to look at it, though, i think, is a direct appeal from manafort and his attorney to the president. this is a special prosecutor who is out of control, who is out of his jurisdiction, who is, you know, roaming all over the place and is going to bring danger to you eventually. he ought to be stopped. he ought to be fired. he ought to be removed. or pardon me. i think that's the strategy he's pursuing than any kind of legal strategy. >> they have even pointed out, manafort's lawyers have pointed out, there is a wide mandate that robert mueller has. but he also says it's gone too far. quote, it is a blank check, and the charges simply have no connection to the alleged coordination with the russian government or the 2016 presidential election. if there was a ruling that sided with paul manafort that could, it seems to me, have wide-ranging implications for this investigation. >> first of all, i think it's very unlikely that manafort is
going to get that kind of ruling. let's look at how the department initially began looking at manafort back in august 2016. it was because of his connections to people in ukraine and all these charges basically extend from his connections with people in ukraine. these weren't just random ukranians. this was a ukraine jan leader who was basically a pro putin head of state. and his -- manafort's other connections in ukraine were with pro putin oligarchs and others from russia and russian interests. so all of these arise from the mandate that mueller was initially appointed, which are sort of illicit connections between the trump campaign and the russian government. >> so kaitlan, how do you see this? how concerned is the trump legal team that manafort could suddenly decide if he doesn't win this, if matt miller is right, this is an ultimate hail mary, it's silly, that he could end up cooperating with robert mueller? >> right. that's always been the concern here. and especially since the mueller probe is so broad, it seems like every couple of weeks there is something that comes out of it,
and figures involved in this that people have not heard. the manafort piece is really interesting, because of the potential for cooperation with other people involved. and because, you know, obviously, manafort was the chairman of the campaign, that the trump administration has taken pains to distance itself from it. but the more that this evolves, the more questions are released about it, especially if you have the cooperation element. >> yeah, and one of the key parlor games has been, how will this impact john, the 2018 elections. now we know that paul manafort is set to go to trial in september. so these questions can continue to roil. conservatives have been pushing for the president simply to pardon manafort. >> i have heard very little of anybody saying that manafort should be pardoned. but i do want to push back on what matt was saying. >> go ahead. >> there is a history of judges dealing with independent counsels who are -- who have questions about their reach.
and while probably he's not going to get a pass on this, he's not going to win with a judge, it's not out of the -- it's not out of the question that the judge who is hearing this case thinks that mueller's brief is unacceptably broad and that is he is overstretching. so as a kind of hail mary pass, it's not the worst hail mary pass. >> so a 30-yarder? >> i just mean that you don't know who is -- to whom he is appealing who might throw the charges out. he might be somebody who has real problems with the way in which independent counsels operate. so it's not science fiction that he could prevail in this question. but matt is right, of course, that anyone else can then refile the charges somewhere else. >> but he does make a good point, matt. in that whatever judge you get can always have obviously a critical impact on the way this is looked at and we don't know who that is going to be at this point. >> yeah, for sure. there is no down side to
manafort in filing these charges. but if you were trying to judge what kind of hail mary this pass is, 30 yard line, 40 yard line, this is the other side of the field. you're throwing back from your own 10, 20 yard line. i think we'll see what happens, obviously, but i think very, very unlikely he wins this motion. >> matt miller, thanks to you. and meantime, i want to talk about andrew mccabe, former fbi director, who has drawn the wrath of president trump. mccabe resigned in january, still on the government payroll but is days away and retirement and collecting his government pension. that could be in jeopardy now, because attorney general jeff sessions is considering firing mccabe after a recommendation following an internal review. "new york times" justice department reporter, katie benner, joins me now. what's behind this recommendation to fire mccabe? >> reporter: so as we know, the inspector general has been working on a report looking at what happened during the 2016 election with regards to the behavior of the fbi and the justice department.
so when that inspector general report comes out, people are worried that the people like mccabe and jim comey are not going to come out looking good in this. during the creation of that report, there is a worry that mccabe himself was not forthcoming when he spoke with the inspector general. which led to the fbi recommending that he be dismissed. >> about what? about a likely russia investigation link? >> reporter: well, so this is where it gets tricky. what the inspector general was looking at, we believe, is whether or not mccabe was forthcoming about interactions between the fbi and the press. in particular, there was a story about the fbi's investigation of the clinton foundation. ironically, this is a story that was bad for the clintons and good for trump. so trump's allegations that mccabe is a clinton operative don't quite ring true here. but at the same time, you know, whether or not he was forthcoming is a really important issue for the fbi. >> so let's talk about the optics, and the political strategy of potentially firing
mccabe. here's a guy, he went away, he's not doing anything to the administration now. what's the reason that sessions would say let's do this? >> sessions would say let's do this, because the fbi recommended his dismissal. i mean, this is not -- is the fbi recommending the dismissal after an inspector general of the justice department found that basically it's likely that he lied in his questioning by the fbi as katie says about a story about the clinton foundation. so i don't know that this has anything to do with the -- the optics will be that people will say, well, trump is punishing mccabe. but i mean -- >> but on the other side, it gives him -- >> you can argue -- you could argue that sessions has the opportunity to be merciful here. i mean, the guy is going to retire in, what, 80 hours. and he could give him his full pension. so leaving this up to jeff sessions, a person whom trump has had a lot of problems with,
who seems to always be trying to curry favor with the trump administration, with the president himself, the optics don't look good. >> and that's why it's always been problematic that the president continues to weigh in on things like this. to your point, he could have just let the system play itself out with the ig problem has been ongoing and the fact that the president continues to weigh in on twitter and elsewhere denigrating mccabe and other -- you know, throughout the entire russia investigation. if he would just let the process play out, he wouldn't be in these situations where the politics look bad, especially the relationship between jeff sessions and donald trump is so -- has broken down so much. it does raise questions about jeff sessions and his own political interests. >> matt miller, you've been keeping an eye on this investigation, and andrew mccabe. what do you make of it? >> it may very well be justified to fire mccabe or discipline him in some way. that's obviously -- or at least according to this reporting, the
recommendation has come up through the career staff. but i think the president's pollution of the process, both with his comments about mccabe, repeated comments about mccabe, and the pressure he still is putting sessions under. sessions is fighting for his job every day, makes it hard to have a lot of faith in the process as it currently stands. i think session would be very wise to take himself out of the process here. there is a senior career official named scott schools works for the deputy attorney general. we often left these decisions in the hands of the person before scott. i think sessions would be smart to take himself out of that, both for giving people confidence that this was handled correctly and also because, look, if sessions fires mccabe, mccabe is going to have a very strong cause of action this was handled inappropriately, that it was unfair, it was biased, politicized. and, you know, you'll see him bring it -- i would suspect legal action against the department. sessions would be wise for a lot of reasons to take himself out of this process completely. >> yeah. >> there's a weird thing about
mccabe that's worth noting, just in terms of history. so at the beginning of october 2016, the fbi discovered that some of hillary clinton's e-mails were on the computer of anthony weiner, you know, who was married to huma. mccabe is the official who knows this. he waits three weeks before informing james comey. james comey then on the 28th of october reopens the investigation to hillary clinton's e-mails, if everybody remembers. an event that may have tilted the election toward trump. mccabe is sort of a weird zelig figure in the history of the united states. because if he had let -- he slow-walked the information about the weiner computer. and, you know, he seems to be some kind of somewhat maligned presence in the last couple of
years. it seems to me an extraordinary thing that the fbi would recommend that the deputy director of the fbi be fired for lying to an inspector general. that's a startling thing. it's not like something that happens every day. >> john, kaitlan, you're going to stay with us. katie, thank you so much for your terrific reporting. we also have coming up, this new audio of president trump, admitting he made up facts in a meeting with canadian prime minister justin trudeau. what the white house is now saying about the president's words caught on tape at a private fund-raiser this week.
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now we've got audio obtained by nbc news overnight, confirming in the president's own words what his critics and fact-checkers have long said. he makes things up. president trump is heard talking about trade, one of his favorite topics, at a private fund-raiser in st. louis. but that's not all. he's boasting about making up facts in a meeting with canadian prime minister, justin trudeau. listen. >> nice guy, good-looking guy comes in. donald, we have no trade deficit. he's very proud, because everybody else, we're getting killed. so he's proud. i said, wrong, justin, you do. i didn't even know. josh, i had no idea. i just said you're wrong. you know why? because we're so stupid. >> well, he wasn't wrong. nbc's kelly o'donnell is covering it all at the white house. kelly, the white house has often defended the president's misstatements or argued that the
press is misinterpreting what he said. what are they saying this time? >> well, chris, the early read from white house officials is this was the president in campaign mode, trying to be entertaining in front of donors. the josh there that he referenced was the candidate the president was speaking on behalf of at this missouri fund-raiser. and so they're putting it in the entertainment category. a group of donors have come together, put a lot of money down to support the party, to support a candidate, and the president is rif f'ing and entertaining. the president himself has taken to twitter to try to give his own explanation indirectly, where he's tweeting, we
do have a trade deficit with canada, as we do with almost all countries, some of them massive. prime minister trudeau of canada, a very good guy, doesn't like saying that canada has a surplus with the u.s. we're negotiating. that's a reference to nafta. but they do. they almost all do. and that's how i know. of course, when we look at the statistics provided by the federal government for 2016, the
most recent ones available, when you look at the overall picture of goods and services, the u.s. is actually on the better side of that deal. if you're talking about goods, things like lumber and so forth, then canada has the advantage. so i wouldn't be at all surprised to see the president try to split that difference. but the living through his business life, his candidate life and his life as president and in this case as fund-raiser in chief seem to play out. this is one of the areas where he is vulnerable to easy fact-checking and criticism. and does not appear to be as careful about details, especially when you're talking about a close u.s. ally like canada, where there has been a good relationship between the president and prime minister trudeau. but it comes at a time when trade is one of the hot issues the president has been talking about. he has been focused on nafta renegotiations. we know the tariffs he sought to impose on steel and aluminum have a carveout for canada. so add this to the mix, chris.
the president riffing his way into another incident. >> telling the leader of another country you're wrong when, in fact, he wasn't wrong. kelly o'donnell, thank you. meantime, republican leaders are warning their members about the challenges facing them in november after connor lamb's victory in pennsylvania. but it's not just republicans taking notes. democrats are too. and they might want to listen to retired steel worker, anthony ross, who spoke to our own kasie hunt about why he abandoned the democratic party and why connor lamb brought him back on board. >> why did you leave? >> the democratic party? because they
forgot the working people. >> what do you think democrats in washington should learn from connor lamb? >> they should come back to the grass roots and go up and down these streets and come in these diners and find out what reality really is. >> kasie joins us now from capitol hill. and as the dust settles, kasie, what are the behind closed doors
conversations like on the hill? what is the feeling about the real-world implications of connor lamb victory? >> the reality is, republicans got caught completely flat-footed here. they didn't pay enough attention to their nominating process. they ended up with, quite frankly, rick sa cone, who claimed he was trump before he was trump. he's extraordinarily conservative and actually doesn't line up with trump in some areas on questions about unions and entitlement programs. and that's really how connor lamb won this race. he ran as a moderate democrat. now, republicans are trying to say that the reason he won is because he actually ran as a republican in disguise. take a look at that, and we'll discuss whether or not this is accurate. >> at the end of the day, he ran as a republican. >> mr. lamb was brilliant. he ran as a republican. >> both of these candidates, the republican and democrat, ran as conservatives. ran as pro-gun, pro-life, be anti nancy pelosi conservatives and that's the take-away you see here.
>> i would posit to paul ryan connor lamb did not run as a republican on for example, paul ryan's favorite topic, tax reform. connor lamb didn't necessarily criticize at great length the tax plan but what he said was, look, we could have passed that plan without adding a dime to the debt by just giving tax cuts to working americans. we didn't need, he said, to send tax breaks to these corporations. i would argue that that is not running on the republican platform that paul ryan and others in the gop leadership want their candidates to run on. the reality here, chris, this was a real scare. connor lamb ran an old-school democratic playbook in a conservative, democratic union district. this is not necessarily a playbook that worked for them in 2016, because president trump was able to convince those kinds of people that he was going to be on their side. he was there. i covered both trump -- >> let me ask about the implications going forward to november, particularly about the democrats understanding that not every district they're running in is like this district.
having said that, is the anti nancy pelosi let's get new leadership thing limited to those kinds of districts and his district where we should point out, again, trump won by 20 points? or is potentially nancy pelosi in real trouble here? >> well, nancy pelosi has had a brewing sort of split in her own party for a long time that eventually the party is going to have to grapple with. i think in this particular year, the anti trump sentiment is so intense among democrats that it may not be an issue for them. where she is going to come into play is in democratic primaries, because you are going to see some competitive race where is there is a primary, and you wouldn't have -- and republicans have been making this point about connor lamb. he didn't have to try and win over the democratic progressive base before he then turned around and ran in a general election. so he was able to say very early, look, i'm not going store nancy pelosi. support nancy pelosi. now, other democrats could potentially run into trouble if they have to face a primary where they would say something
like that and be punished by the base of their party. so that's what republicans are kind of counting on. in places where that's not the case, i think, you know, democrats here and if you talk to people close to nancy pelosi, familiar with her thinking, she just wants to win. she wants to be back in charge here in the house of representatives. i don't think she really cares one way or the other if her candidates have to attack her on the way there. >> all right. thanks so much, kasie. we've got breaking news coming up. the administration about to announce new sanctions on russia. our reporters just getting off a conference call with administration officials. we'll take a quick break and have that for you on the other side. wemost familiar companies,'s but we make more than our name suggests. we're an organic tea company. a premium juice company. a coconut water company. we've got drinks for long days.
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we've got breaking news at this hour from the treasury department. just released, they're taking aim at russia for meddling in the 2016 election and imposing new sanctions. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at the white house for us. kelly, talk to us about these new sanctions, who is being targeted? >> well, there will be five entities and 19 individuals, according to the department of the treasury, and they're continuing to brief reporters right now. so a lot of the explanation is still coming out of this. but it deals with the cyber issue and certainly dealing with what would broadly be referred to as the russian meddling. we have seen from secretary mnuchin who has led this effort.
here is a statement. the administration is confronting and countering maligned russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference of the u.s. elections, destructive cyberattacks and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure. these targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from russia. that is from steven mnuchin, treasury secretary. there is a lot of detail in this, and that is typically the case with sanctions where they'll go by naming the individuals and the entities and why -- the kind of fundamental basis for why they are levying these sanctions against them. so this is intended to cripple these individuals and entities from doing this kind of activity. it's also a part of the longer conversation about russian meddling, where the u.s. has at times taken steps but at times from the president, there's been a more muted response when it comes to russia. so this is one of those ways the administration sort of counter
balances the absence of the president being more forceful on this issue. so that's what's unfolding right now. details still coming into us in terms of a detailed background briefing. chris? >> kelly, we'll get back to you as we learn more from that briefing with administration officials. but i want to bring in nbc news investigations reporter, tom winter, as well as msnbc justice and security analyst, former doj spokesman, matt miller. my panel is still here. tom, you've been reading in on this. i want to know more about who those folks are. one thing that stood out to us as we were reading, they talk about this attack on february 15th, 2018. they call it the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history. this addresses the election, but also other cyberattacks. >> that's exactly right, chris. this goes a lot further than just the people that were named in robert mueller's indictment from several weeks ago, that's most of the individuals targeted here. but the u.s. government says since may 2016, energy, nuclear,
commercial facilities, water, aviation, critical manufacturing systems, they've all been targeted by the russian government. and that's part of this sanctions actions taking place today. to your point, on the attack in february of this year, this was the attribution of it. the actual attack occurred last year. basically, this was a cyberattack that decimated britain's entire health system. their national health system got -- had massive failures in their ability to get the records of their patients, to be able to frankly operate. here it says i believe for the first time publicly, they are also saying hospitals in the united states were, quote, unable to create electronic records for more than a week. so at least several u.s. hospitals were impacted by this. marist, the largest shipping company in the world was absolutely decimated, their ability to move global trade. so the u.s. government says it was worth billions of dollars and they have directly targeted
several russian entities for this. in addition to that, they have also targeted the fsb, the russian internal security service and gru, military intelligence service, for cyber sanctions. obviously, they have already been hit with sanctions as it relates to ukraine and crimea and what's happened there. this time they're saying we're going at you with specific cyber-related sanctions for what you did in the election and what you continue to do to critical u.s. infrastructure since may of 2016 and up to current date. so that's kind of the key things from this. but the best road map, as far as the individuals and what's in and as far as entities involved here is the robert mueller indictment. this is kind of the -- those folks aren't coming here. we have no extradition agreement with russia. the only way the u.s. can really put a sentence on them, so to speak, is to be able to enforce these sanctions. so for the people that were directly involved in the russian election interference, according to mueller's indictment, those folks today are going to feel it in their pockets. their ability to move their money and to operate, frankly.
>> so matt miller, as anyone who watches this network knows, you have been a frequent critic of this administration. are they doing the right thing here. are they going to at least send an important message? >> these sanctions are important. i think they're important. they're a little bit overdue. by themselves, they're insufficient. if you look at the sanctions, they recall fall into two categories. the first are the individuals and entities associated with the hack on the election, the internet research agency and those individuals who have already been indicted by bob mueller. those were obvious targets of sanctions. it would be hard to see not sanctioning them. the second sanctions brought against the fsb and gru, brought under the law that congress passed. over the president's objection, over -- he was reluctant to sign that, and when he did sign it, put out a statement criticizing it. it would have been hard for the administration to avoid sanctioning the gru and the fsb and senior leaders just based on the provisions of that law that congress overwhelmingly passed and the president signed. now, what i think we need to look for in the future is
whether they go -- whether they go further. if they really wanted to bring pain to the russian government, if they really want to bring pain to vladimir putin, they're going to have to sanction the senior officials close to him, the senior oligarchs close to him and maybe putin's assets himself. and mnuchin in his statement does say they will be considering and pursuing further sanctions. i think that's when we'll see if the administration really is going to get tough. but i think one good sign from this is that pressure does work. we know the president has been reluctant to pursue this course of action. we're seeing him taking a first step today. i think it's not -- it is without a doubt a result of the huge pressure from congress to enact these kinds of sanctions. >> knowing this administration, studying it, following it, reporting on it the way you do. is this a first step toward that next step of hitting people close to vladimir putin? >> well, i don't think we can take this in isolation from the news in britain of this, you know, chemical warfare attack that was intended to kill and
did kill former soviets, russia spy, and then sicken 200 people in the city of salisbury in england. we are going to have to make moves. theresa may, the prime minister of britain, just levied very harsh sanctions on individuals in britain, russian nationals, who have investments in britain. this isn't going to stop there. nikki haley, our u.n. ambassador, yesterday signaled that the administration was at least considering very seriously dropping a giant anvil on russia's head because of what happened here. there is -- this is very reckless behavior by the russians. and, you know, particularly if you're trump, i'm wondering whether you're thinking, you know, i've been like soft pedaling you, saying nice things about you. i've been trying to make friendly with you, and you're going around poisoning people and, you know, doing cyberattacks? like, this is the sort of thing that could turn somebody's -- you know, his entire approach to
the administration on its head. >> this is kind of a 1-2 punch. because we have what we just saw from the treasury department, and, again, they have a briefing ongoing with reporters. but you had this show of force today. the united states going together with many of its european allies and issuing a strong condemnation of russia for its alleged role in the poisoning of that ex russian spy. >> right, exactly. and the president has come under fire from his own republicans in congress for not implementing the sanctions that they wanted to push. and to your point, that has been the concern with both parties, that the president wasn't taking the correct action here. and especially after the indictments that came from mueller -- from the doj, was, you know, the president made those indictments more about him, kind of exonerating him from the broader russia probe, when, in fact, the questions were, well, what is the u.s. doing to respond to this? especially since as it pertains to the meddling portion, we are in the midterm election. >> well, that's the key question here. we're in the middle of the mid terms.
is anything that is being done here or anything that can be done between now and november make a difference in what happens in terms of any kind of meddling intervention? >> and that's why i'm going to be really interested to see. we're going to have the confirmation process for the new cia director. we're going to have a confirmation process for pompeo, his new secretary of state. you better believe these questions will be asked, especially since a couple of weeks or months ago, tillerson admitted that they weren't adequately prepared to fight russia on the meddling component. >> anything happening between now and then that's going to make a difference in stopping meddling in the mid terms? >> well, i think, yeah. coming down hard on -- >> does send a message. and does stop people. >> and, of course, you learn the techniques they're using by breaking some of these attacks, right? so you discover what their ideology is, and how they can be interfered with. so there is also the technical aspect that we won't see of the
gna national security agency and others who can block some of these potential assaults. >> chris, frankly, we've been on the defensive with the russians for a very long time. we remain on the defensive as it relates to what they're going to do next. so it's great we understand how they're going to operate now, as john said. but we're just not at a point where in the people that i talk to that are in the law enforcement community, we're not at a point where we're anticipating the next move. it's difficult. and so i think that the sanctions, if it can sort of clip, and it's one of the few things that actually have worked as far as getting russia's attention. if they can kind of clip their ability to do these type of attacks, a lot of people in the law enforcement community believe that's at least one effective step. but frankly, the russians only respect -- only respect significant pushback. and so, you know, throwing a couple people out of the country and a round of sanctions is probably not going to end this effort. >> and remember, our elections are not run by the federal government. we have 50 states. the federal government has no
role in how the computer systems are set up, whether they're paper, whether they have paper backup. all of that stuff. this is a 50-state obligation and responsibility. and one way in which you could, you know -- you could sort of rally the states to harden their systems. but, you know, there's not much you can do by waving your hand in washington, except interdicting stuff, you know, that comes on -- comes through the cables or through the ether. >> we're starting to get some reaction from capitol hill. so i want to play -- we just got this. texas senator, john cornyn, reacting to this news. >> well, somebody said that mr. putin wakes up every day wondering where the united states is having problems. and wonders how can i make it worse. and we know they have meddled in our election. we know it didn't change any votes, necessarily. but that this sort of thing needs to be responded to, needs to be punished. and then you see what happened in the united kingdom. and i was glad to see nikki
haley, our ambassador to the united nations, take such a strong stand together with our allies in the united kingdom against that sort of activity. but they're just -- they're out of control. russia is. and they are -- that needs to be dealt with, one way or the other. and this is one way for us to discourage that. >> are we going to see -- >> and that was senator john cornyn. so big day today of breaking news. we are going to continue to follow this. we'll come back, we'll have more as we get it from that briefing from officials about these new sanctions against russia and russian individuals. and after all of this, we said the conflict heating up between russia and the uk, both nations sending the others, diplomats, back to their home countries. the newest statement from president trump and other world leaders as they vow to hold russia accountable for the poisoning of a former spy.
(gasp) (singsong) budget meeting! sweet. if you compare last quarter to this quarter... various: mmm. it's no wonder everything seems a little better with the creamy taste of philly, made with fresh milk and real cream. in a show of force today, the u.s. and several european allies strongly condemned russian's alleged role in the poisoning of an ex british spy. russia announced it will expel british diplomats from its embassy. it's response to britain removing 23 russian envoys from the uk embassy. britain's defense minister today says the uk is ready to respond if russia keeps striking back. >> this is absolutely atrocious and outrageous what russia did
in salisbury. we have responded to that. frankly, russia should go away, it should shut up. but if they do respond to what we -- the action we have taken, we'll consider it carefully, and we'll look at our options. but it would be wrong to prejudge their response. >> nbc's keir simmons has more for us out of london. keir? >> reporter: good morning. what began as a spy mystery, like something out of the cold war, has distended into a war of words. what i think you're seeing now is the british prime minister leading a push to try to say that this is more than just words. this is more serious than that. this statement from the joint allies, if you like, of the u.s., the uk, germany and france, is very strongly worded indeed. it says in part, we share the uk assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation and note that russian's failure to address the legitimate request by the uk
government further underlines its responsibility. we call on russia to address all questions related to the attack in salisbury. of course, salisbury is the english town where this nerve agent was used in the attempted assassination of the former russian spy, sergei skripal and his daughter. america's closest ally locked in a confrontation with the kremlin, calling an emergency meeting this afternoon. >> the united states stands in absolute solidarity with great britain. >> ambassador haley issuing a stern warning over the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter outside salisbury, london. >> if we don't take immediate concrete measure to say address this now, salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used. they could be used here in new york. >> this, hours after britain formally blaming moscow for the attempted assassination, expelling 23 diplomats, the most
since the cold war. and sparking a war of words. unacceptable, unjustified, and short-sighted, russia says. britain's prime minister calling for united action against russia. >> to stand up for our values and to send a clear message to those who would seek to undermine them. >> the nerve agent so deadly, they remain in critical condition nine days later. a police officer first responder still hospitalized. the investigation now focused on skripal's car, mystery still surrounds how the nerve agent was deployed, and the identity of the would-be assassin. >> keir simmons, thank you so much. my panel is back with me. caitlyn huey-burns. john podoritz, columnist for the "new york post." let's put in the perspective of what nikki haley said yesterday. quote, theresa may find it hard to win allies to put increased
economic and security pressure on russia. it is unclear why a few assassinations or attempts would spur allies to take tougher action against moscow when killing civilians in moscow whe shooting down a passenger airliner in ukraine and meddling in the american election generally have not. >> this is a different matter. what happened in salisbury was not just that this spy was targeted and his daughter got in the downdraft, but 200 people were sickened by the attack. this is a -- that is a gigantic fact that is missing from that description. you're talking about 200 ordinary britaibritains, innoce bystanders, caught up in a weird spy drama playing out on english soil, involving russia. if we cannot as independent sovereign countries defend ourselves against such fights taking place on our soil with chemical weaponry that will injury and kill our people, then
sovereignty has no meaning. >> you could make the argument, there is the real fear factor, but also, the reality that this has gotten a lot of attention from people on the street. i'm telling you anecdotally. they see you how you do. it is a spy novel or movie and they're trying to figure out, what is this? what is the real danger here? >> the real, tangible implications, right? nikki haley saying, quite frankly, look, this could happen here. nikki haley has been consistent in her attacks, in her criticisms of russia, has have some other people in the administration. the problem has always been the president's reluctance to take a tough stance on russia. we're seeing the u.s. combined with the uk on this, and also the sanctions today, perhaps as a first step, but the problem has always been the lines between trump and his own administration. >> speaking of stories that have people talking, new reporting that shows another possible link
surfacing between the president and a porn star. according to documents first reported by the "wall street journal," a second lawyer with ties to the trump organization was involved in the legal effort to prevent adult film actress stormy daniels from talking about her alleged affair with mr. trump. those documents appear to link the trump organization to a private company that the president's personal lawyer, michael conhen, set up to pay daniels $130,000 just before the election. of course, the white house has said the president denies any allegations of an affair with daniels and that mr. trump was unaware of any payments. danny cevallos joins our pavel. the trump organization gave this statement in response to the story. quote, the trump organization is not representing anyone and with the exception of one of its california-based attorney in her individual, individual capacity, facilitating the initial filing pending the prohawk admission of mr. rosen, the company has had
no involvement in the matter. translate that for us, danny. >> well, it's problematic. i'll tell you why. the trump organization is essentially saying, we've had no involvement with this matter, even though one of our attorneys may have helped out with a pro hoc petition. >> i need to interrupt you for a second. i'm assuming these are pictures -- yes, this is outside, obviously, of the west w wing. the president is greeting the prime minister of ireland. this is something we have seen every year. they come. they meet with the president right around st. paddy's day. then the president and the prime minister will attend the friends of ireland luncheon on capitol hill. it is hosted by paul ryan. then he comes back to the white house. there is a traditional shamrock ceremony. but what's really key here is that we may have a chance for our pool to ask questions of the president, so we're going to be standing by for that and that tape to come back to us. we're keeping an eye on it.
danny, i interrupted you. what is the significance of what the statement that came out today on stormy daniels? >> attorneys generally have to seek admission by taking the bar and going through a whole process in every state they want to practice in. if you have litigation -- if i have litigation in california where i'm not admitted, i can ask to be admitted pro ho pro hoc vechi, which is for the case. california requires whatever lawyer sponsors my admission must remain the attorney of record. they must remain the primary associated attorney with the matter. it's inconsistent for the trump organization, at least the way i read it, to say they had an attorney who helped out with a pro hoc petition, but they're not involved. the essence in california is that the attorney is involved and remains involved. >> and she's also someone, by the way, who has been closely
tied to the trump organization. she was the lead attorney on the trump university fraud suit, which was settled. they didn't admit anything. this is somebody who has been closely tied to the trump organization. >> her connection to the trump organization appears to be relatively clear. what is more important, at least to daniels' case, is whether or not there is a nexus between that attorney, the trump organization and ec consultants and michael cohen, who are the parties to the contract, who actually signed the contract. remember, trump, david denison, did not sign the contract. >> thank you, danny. we appreciate you all sticking around this hour. we'll be right back with today's big picture. ities. at ameriprise financial, we can't predict what tomorrow will bring. but our comprehensive approach to financial planning can help make sure you're prepared for what's expected and even what's not. and that kind of financial confidence
we're marching on with women's history month, showing you the best pictures by, for and about women. these are girl scouts in georgia's capital. they're on a mission. see what they're pointing at? this is a local bridge. right now, it's named after a white segregationist. these girls are saying, how about we honor a savannah native and the girl scout founder, julia gordon lowe, instead? so far, lawmakers in georgia won't budge. they like the white segregationist bridge. the girls are not giving up. the photographer, david goldman for the ap. thank you very much for watching this hour of msnbc live. right now, more news with my colleagues ali velshi and stephanie ruhle.
>> i don't want to start the show. i want to sit and hear more about the girl scouts in georgia. >> amazing, the power kids have these days. the messaging they're carrying has been inspiring. good morning, everybody. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. do you know what today is? thursday, march 15th. so much to cover. let's get started. >> we have breaking news at this hour from the treasury department. just released, they're taking aim at russia for meddling in the 2016 election and imposing new sanctions. >> overnight at a fundraiser in st. louis, president trump seeming to admit he made up facts in a meeting with his canadian counterpart justin trudeau. >> i said, justin, you do. i didn't know. josh, i had no idea. i just said, you're wrong. you know why? because we're so stupid. >> this revolving door is still spinning at the white house. larry kudlow is set to be the newest face of economic policy for president trump. >> i've known the president a